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VENTILATION IS CRUCIAL TO REDUCE TRANSMISSION OF AIRBORNE VIRUSES INDOORS

Today in Parliament, Amanda gave notice of a motion calling for the NSW Labor Government to take steps to ensure that all public buildings - schools, health facilities, community centres, prisons, sporting facilities and more - will receive installation of permanent ventilation systems.

Amanda said: 

I give notice that on the next sitting day I will move: 

(1) That this House notes that:

(a) during winter there is an increased likelihood of contracting respiratory infections,

(b) in May and June of this year, students were learning from home due to COVID-19 outbreaks among students and staff at Martindale Public School, Orange High School, Yawarra Community School, Kincumber High School, Cammeray Public School, Carenne School, Liverpool Girls High School, Parkes High School, Kemps Creek, Karabar High School, and Five Islands Secondary College,

(c) children are particularly vulnerable to risks associated with the transmission of airborne pathogens, with lower vaccination rates and higher asthma prevalence than adults,

(d) people at higher risk of adverse outcomes if they contract a respiratory illness such as COVID-19 deserve equitable and safe access to schools and public buildings,

(e) the spread of respiratory illnesses has significant economic repercussions, with the National Institute of Labour Studies estimating that in an average pre-COVID year, Australia was losing approximately 2% of its GDP to unexpected health-related absences, most of which were caused by respiratory illness, and the CSIRO calculating that prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, poor indoor air quality was costing Australia an estimated 12 billion dollars per year, and

(f) adequate ventilation is a crucial factor in reducing transmission of airborne pathogens indoors.

(2) That this House calls on the NSW Government to:

(a) report on the progress of the installation of ventilation systems in public schools,

(b) commit to ensuring that all public schools receive permanent remediation works for ventilation, and

(c) work with local councils to extend the rollout of permanent comprehensive ventilation systems and HEPA grade air filtration to all public buildings, including but not limited to health facilities, community centres and public libraries, public transit stations, prisons and remand centres, and sporting facilities.

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